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Quakers renamed "Darlington 1883"
THE Quakers will be called Darlington 1883 next season, the club has announced.
The club has been forced to find an alternative playing name to Darlington FC by the Football Association (FA) after losing an appeal last week.
Owners Darlington FC 1883 said they had planned to hold a comprehensive poll to allow as many fans as possible to put forward their opinions.
However, a last minute deadline meant a new name had to be submitted today.
Fan polls were arranged by DFC 1883 and The Northern Echo last week which showed the most popular names were Darlington AFC and Darlington 1883.
After receiving guidance that Darlington AFC could be rejected, the board chose Darlington 1883.
Laura Drew, DFC 1883 director and part of the team that attended the appeal, said "We ended up in a position where we had to make a decision more or less on the spot, and this isn't the first time that has happened due to factors outside of our control.
“It was vital to us that the fans had some say in the new playing name of their team and Darlington 1883 was very popular in the polls that we received.
“Following the appeal hearing we were told that a new name would need to registered ‘sooner rather than later’ but it was only midday on Saturday when it became clear that we needed to confirm the name today. “The FA required us to differentiate from the previous playing name which incidentally was simply 'Darlington' as per last season's FA handbook and the use of 1883 has been adopted and broadly accepted by the town to reflect the history of the club as well scoring well in the polls."
Interim board chairman Denis Pinnegar added: “The open day at Bishop Auckland on Saturday was an excellent day and it was great to see so many fans looking forward to the new season.
“Deciding on the new name was a close run thing between the two final choices but Darlington 1883 demonstrates the great history of our club which is very important to us.
“We are disappointed that the poll could not run its course but the deadline placed on us at the last minute of Monday morning has to be adhered to. Now its all about preparing for the new season which we are all looking forward to."
Craig McKenna, DFC 1883 project director, said the board was getting used to making decisions at the last minute.
“It’s not something that we enjoy or encourage and this one is particularly frustrating as the fans were coming forward in their numbers to give their opinions.
“I am confident we have a playing name that will prove popular with the fans although I do think there will be some who will be critical.
“We tried to initiate a process where the fans would have the final say on the new playing name but the unbelievably short notice of the deadline has meant that we have had to take the feedback we had at hand and make a decision from there.”
He added: “This is an exciting new era for this football club and the 400 plus season tickets sold on Saturday show that the Darlington FC fans are still 100 pre cent behind the football club."
Club officials had hoped a plea for leniency to the FA would see the Quakers allowed to keep their name as well as playing in the Evo-Stik League and national FA competitions next season.
However, following a crunch meeting at Wembley Stadium last week they came away disappointed on all counts.